Basements can be daunting spaces for remodeling. Cluttered, dark, and chilly, basements often convince homeowners to turn their attention to other projects in the home.
But basements don’t have to stay that way. They can be remodeled and finished so that they not only integrate with the rest of the home but become beautiful and valuable assets to the property.
The first goal of any basement remodel is to decide how to finish the large surfaces: flooring, walls, and ceiling. In a completely unfinished basement, the floor may be concrete, the walls concrete block or bare studs, and the ceiling joists of the floor above. Once the major surfaces have been installed, the area can be remodeled just like any other area of the home.
When you see the amazing basement remodels that these homeowners have accomplished, you’ll feel the spark of inspiration to take on this weighty but worthwhile project.
Before: Basement Ready for Change
This basement space was already in solid, build-ready condition when Beth, at the design blog Unskinny Boppy, decided to turn it into a home office for her husband.
After: Stately Man-Office
After Beth designed this office with decidedly masculine features, she christened it a “man-office,” with its emphasis on wood features, strong colors, and sports. Leaving the ceiling open (but painted), with visible heating ductwork, pares down the budget considerably.
Before: Wood Paneling Overload
The basement space was large enough and showed promise, but it had one major flaw, as far as owner Heather of the design blog The Heathered Nest was concerned: it was seriously ugly. In fact, she calls it the “worst basement you’ve ever seen.” Step one: strip the fake wood paneling and install drywall.
After: Basement Room For a Family
Now that this basement has been remodeled, it is a beautiful, comfortable, and bright space. The centerpiece is a spacious charcoal, tufted velvet sectional sofa that invites the family to gather, play, socialize, and relax together. The super-furry rug lends an air of fun of the room.
Before: Scary and Uninhabitable
Can anything good be said about this basement? Walls are bare, ceiling open, and flooring unfinished.
Fortunately, design blogger Kat, along with husband Mitch, had enough vision to see beyond this basement’s dark, dungeon-like state.
After: Transformed Basement
The result is nothing short of a total basement transformation. Kat and Mitch created multiple zones for multiple needs: half for entertainment and relaxing, half for working. The work zone was even further divided into hers-and-his areas. Kat wisely added tons of light to cheer up the basement, including recessed lights and a chandelier.
Before: Cavernous Basement Remodel
While the area was big enough and ripe for a basement remodel, it had a lot of challenging aspects, including an obtrusive crawlspace door and a looming HVAC system that was hanging down from the ceiling.
An even more challenging aspect: the jack-posts, or adjustable steel columns, shoring up the floor above. These posts could not be removed since they were structurally necessary.
After: Favored Hang-Out Spot
It was the start of a year-and-a-half basement finishing project, but it was well worth all of the effort. Jamin and Ashley of the home design blog The Handmade Home began by installing drywall over the cinderblock walls, applying spray foam insulation, and enclosing the necessary but ugly supporting adjustable steel posts. Next came paint, flooring, and furniture, all fusing together to make a lovely daylight basement for work and play.
The basement provided space for kids to romp around and play. But that’s all it was: space. Home design gurus Chris and Julia decided that it was time to fill it out and give the space more utility and function. They already had a good start, as the walls, ceiling, and floor were finished.
After: Basement Room for All
With all of the kids’ play equipment banished to the backyard, Chris and Julia’s basement remodel is a prime example of how to re-purpose a largely ignored area of the home. A giant sectional sofa invites family to gather, nibble, talk, and play games. Stylish pendant lights, along with recessed lights, brighten and cheer up the space.
Before: Bare Bones
This basement couldn’t even be used for storage because it was too damp and moldy. Design experts John and Sherry of the popular blog Young House Love first had to apply Drylok moisture-sealing paint to the cinderblock walls and regrade the exterior ground to promote drainage away from the house.
After: Bargain Basement Remodel
This ultra-cheap basement remodel heavily relies on IKEA furniture and Flor carpet squares to create a clean, functional space for working and for storage. It’s a remodel that quickly addresses a pressing need, yet leaves open possibilities for future fixes.
Before: Dark and Depressing Basement
This basement didn’t have much going for it. The area was too dark, gloomy, and very rough around the edges. But the homeowner had a vision for a bright, sparkling multi-purpose room.
After: Stunning Basement Remodel
Post-remodel, this basement is now very easy on the eyes and nothing short of incredible. Now, the kids can play contentedly for hours on rainy days. Plus, with the addition of a guest bedroom and full kitchen, the basement can accommodate in-laws when they come to visit.
Before: Tired and Cluttered Basement
The basement had definite potential, but it was dark and cluttered. It needed some major help before it could be transformed into the comfortable family area that the homeowners dreamed of.
After: Stylish and Cheery Basement Remodel
Out with the old and in with the new for this revamped basement. The ratty brown carpeting was ripped out and replaced with luxury vinyl plank flooring. A fresh coat of white ceiling paint dials up the light by reflecting ambient as well as the artificial light from the industrial-look ceiling fixtures.
Before: Finished but Hardly Done
A finished basement is not always the same thing as a designed basement. Sometimes, the basement begins with the basics: walls, a ceiling, lights, and a floor. But that is little more than a box; you need more than that.
Gwen Hefner and husband Micah wanted to turn their tiny, airless basement space into a comfortable mancave. They had the basics to start with. The next step, Gwen says, would be a true test to her design skills.
After: Basement Remodel Mancave
Because this basement space was so small, Gwen says that her main concern was creating interest and warmth. She eliminated those worries by creating wainscot-style paneling from Metrie.
But the brilliant trick she employed to disguise the too-low ceiling was to paint the walls and ceiling the same color (Farrow & Ball, Elephant’s Breath). Painting the ceiling white and the walls a different color would have created a horizontal line. The eye would use this line to establish the height of the ceiling. Instead, walls and ceiling blur together, making the ceiling look higher than it really is.
Before: Storage Zone
As a busy Mom of three kids, wife, and a very active lifestyle blogger, Landeelu Anderson didn’t exactly have a lot of time to tend to her packed basement. But as an ardent believer in clearing the clutter from one’s home, life, and mind, she knew that it was time to act. She had her work cut out for her. Before anything, she had to evict all of that clutter.
After: Updated Basement Remodel
Pure design genius animated this basement remodel from lifestyle blogger Landeelu. For one, she decided to paint her doors a dark color, giving them a custom look that stands out from the cooler gray walls.
Next, she added pops of interest with unique items, like the aged gold ceiling light fixture from Joss & Main. The fireplace not only adds warmth to the room for guests but provides a welcome focal point. The result is an adorable basement remodel that can now rightfully be called an integrated part of the home.